The Days of Being Dumb (1992)
Reviewed by: ewaffle on 2005-09-14
Summary: Not that funny--two minor spoilers.
"Days of Being Dumb" tries on a number of the elements of film comedy including slapstick, farce and buddy comedy but it isn't really any of those. Nor is it a post-modern pastiche or a genre defying hybrid. It is simply a movie that throws a bunch of stuff against the wall and hopes the audience will find what sticks to the wall to be funny.

There are some potentially funny bits--the triad underlings hang-out serving as a hiring hall, much like the Merchant Marine hall in "Action in the North Atlantic", as if there was a triad trade union that enforced seniority privileges is one. Another is the mistaken identify of Anita Yeun--she is a model, the guys think she is a hooker. And the overall hook of the movie, that Fred and Keith are actually in demand as triad recruits because they so bad at it, sounds hilarious. But between the good ideas that began the process and the final product on the screen most of the laughs were lost.

If the audience correctly anticipates how a joke or bit will play out--if they see the punch line half-way through the build-up--it kills the humor. You know that Fred and Keith are going to drop the vase with the triad leader's ashes as soon as the scene starts and only hope that it will happen in an outrageous and unexpected way, which it does not. The same with the boat sinking when they are told to dispose of the corpse of General Lee--once the chopping starts the only thing that can happen is that they chop holes in the wooden boat.

It is clear that Tony Leung Chiu Wai, one of the finest actors working in Hong Kong over the past couple of decades, and Jacky Cheung, who can effective in the right role, try hard to pull this one together. Unfortunately all the hard work in the world wouldn't make this funny or even particularly interesting.

Not recommended.
Reviewer Score: 2